I've been writing in this blog for over a decade, intermittently over the last number of years but still keeping record of my progress and development as a writer. I've kept this blog for that purpose - it's why I started it.
In my early days of writing and publishing poems I was obsessed with trying to understand the mysteries of how poets find their 'voice', and desperate to deepen my own poems and understanding of how poetry 'works' beyond the observable mechanics and tools of writing a poem.
It's something every writer has to work out for themselves with a kind of dedication and perseverance in the face of constant rejection and failure that seems idiotic from an outside perspective. It has always been a help to me when I caught a glimpse into someone else's struggle and at times shone light on how I myself might move forward. I have always been grateful when writers have been open about the mysteries of their progress.
Right now I'm absorbed in Lorca's struggle through a wonderful in-depth biography about him by Leslie Stainton. Lucky for us Lorca was a prolific letter writer and many of his friends kept detailed diaries of their lives with him so the biography is incredibly informative. Despite being a huge fan of his work, I knew very little about Lorca beforehand and it is wonderful for me to read how each of his collections - poems that I so love - were brought into being - his struggles, his obsessions, his influences, his evolving philosophy of poetry.
Here are some quotes from the book so far that I have found particularly interesting -
"As a poet he remained committed to the ideal of “pure” poetry...Poetry must free itself from the “puzzle of the image and from the planes of reality.” It must ascend to an “ultimate plane of purity and simplicity”—the plane of “escape,” poetry’s last and purest realm."
"To Lorca, the world of the child embodied the same type of “escape” he sought to achieve as a poet. Filled with gentle descriptions of mother and child, and wistful portraits of childhood itself"
"The child, he said, inhabits an “inaccessible poetic world that neither rhetoric nor the pandering imagination nor fantasy can penetrate.” The child, like the poet or painter who courts pure inspiration, is capable of discovering mysterious and indecipherable relations between things."
"The lullaby, he told his audience, is the bridge that links the child’s magical world to the adult’s more rational one."
“When I correct proofs, I experience the inevitable sensation of death,”
"Lorca hoped to effect a radical new synthesis of the traditional and the avant-garde. Stylization, not imitation, was the key to his approach. In his lecture on cante jondo he had argued that artists should never seek to copy the ineffable modulations of traditional material, for “we can do nothing but blur them. Simply because of education.”"